According to the letter, the above procedure of the Pilsen Municipal Police is an unprecedented attempt to question the freedom of scientific research.
Among other things, it reads: “It is completely unacceptable for the author of a bachelor’s thesis to face criminal charges for the findings he came to as part of his research and which were illustrated in the text of the thesis with quotes from interviews with his communication partners.”
Should he have announced it?
Petr Nováček, commander of the Pilsen Municipal Police, stands by the criticized step. “It is not a criminal complaint against the Faculty of Philosophy or against the content of the bachelor’s thesis,” Nováček told Práv. “If the associate professors believe that we are dishonoring their scientific works, it is not true,” he pointed out. “We filed a criminal complaint against Constable Bauer on the grounds that it was his legal duty to report criminal activity that he became aware of in the course of his employment. Which did not happen,” said Nováček and added: “If a police officer learns of a crime, he is clearly obliged to act, this follows from both the Labor Code and the City Police Act. He states in his work that he learned about these things and did not act. Therefore, he violated his work duties. Nothing more, nothing less.’
The chief of the Municipal Police in Pilsen was acquitted by the court in the case of a deleted offence
Ladislav Toušek from the mentioned department, one of the authors of the letter, sees it differently. “From what Jan Bauer describes, there is no reporting obligation,” he responded. “He is answered by informants who say they heard, or a colleague who says something,” Toušek pointed out. “During his bachelor’s thesis, he followed the code of ethics of the anthropological association – a researcher has an obligation to protect his informants and his sources, just like, for example, journalists,” explained Toušek.
In his bachelor’s thesis, “An Ethnography of Enforcing Social Control Against the Homeless”, Bauer brings, among other things, alleged testimonies about the treatment of the homeless. For example: “…I know that someone likes to torture the homeless, like pouring water on them in the cold and the like…” Or: “…I think that waking people up with pepper spray is happening, because a few colleagues have already told about it …” “…sometimes they wake up homeless people in the winter by stepping on their feet because their feet are frozen, and that hurts them a lot…”
“I don’t know whether those activities took place or not, that’s why the police and the public prosecutor’s office and the court are here to give us feedback,” Commander Nováček said. “My personal opinion is that it didn’t happen. If so and to such an extent, it would have surfaced a long time ago,” he added. According to Nováček, Jan Bauer continues to serve as a police officer. “He is in the same position, we did not fire him, we did not reduce his salary, we respect the presumption of innocence,” Nováček concluded.
Police officers from Lipník are threatened with five years behind bars for an incomprehensible intervention
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